1670 – 1870 : Two centuries of existence of the hudson's bay company

3220 mots 13 pages
As written on the homepage of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) website "Founded in 1670 by King Charles II, the Hudson's Bay Company played a vital role in building Canada as a nation”.
The purpose of this essay will be, first, to explain the evolution of the Company from its creation in 1670 until its incorporation into the Dominion in 1870, and next to show what the consequences for the development of Canada were, knowing that the Company has always been interlocked with the country's history. Even if, at the beginning, the Company had marginal economic importance, it progressively became one of the main strengths that led to the construction of modern Canada, from both a geographic and an economic point of view.
The Hudson Bay was discovered in 1610 by Henry Hudson who was looking for the Northwest passage to the Orient when he entered the strait and the bay that now bear his name. This bay is an inland sea of 470,000 square miles that leads to the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean making it the second-largest bay in the World. In 1670, a declaration of the King of England gave birth to one of the oldest private companies that still functions today. In its early days, the Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay grew rapidly due to the supply of beaver pelts, which seemed endless, while beaver was already an endangered species in Europe. The booming European demand for furs to make hats and the availability of a cheap workforce, the Natives, enabled the Hudson's Bay Company to keep expanding.
The first part of the essay will cover the first century of the Company as a monopoly, and the second part will cover the period from the creation of its largest rival, the North West Company, until the handover of Rupert's Land to Canada. This history will explain the impacts the Company had on the economic development of Canada.

In 1659, two French coureurs du bois, Pierre Radisson and his brother-in-law Medard Chouart des Groseilliers, were the

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